Today’s solemnity is of Our Lady Help of Christians, patroness of Australia.
Some of us prayed this morning at a solemn, reverent Mass, one inspiring us to remember that awe , the awe, the fear of the Lord, the awe of being in God’s presence.
Helping me to remember to pray for those I love, for those I am upset with, for those who are angry with me, for those I disappoint with my behaviour.
For, in life, a problem or a situation is rarely always the fault of others. Experience, my past, my childhood, my adulthood, has taught me that. In my life, in three different situations that are boiling over, concurrently, well, I can see where I have made things worse. Where I have failed. Particularly in my vocation.
And so I have prayed this CONSECRATION OF ONESELF TO JESUS CHRIST,WISDOM INCARNATE,THROUGH THE HANDS OF MARY by St. Louis De Montfort – True Devotion to Mary.
We need the prayers of Our Lady. We need the Eucharist, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we need to pray at mass as we did this morning. We need to remember the sacred in the mass, sacredness in word, in deed, in prayer, in liturgy.
As this article states, when quoting Cardinal Pell… In praying to the omnipotent God at mass, George Pell contends, it is not appropriate to “talk in the same way we do at a barbecue”. Fresh Embrace of Everlasting Salvation, The Australian
No, it is not appropriate. Neither is it appropriate to have jokes within our worship, within our Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Or liturgical dancers. Or people parading around, doing this, doing that, helping here in the liturgy, dancing in a Gospel procession, showing off our national costumes and flags, talking about did you see I was asked to do x…didn’t she read well, weren’t those kids lovely, me, me all about me and men and not about God.
How do we lift our hearts to the Lord, how do we revere and worship Him, with colloquial terms? With jokes? Or, within noisy masses, with half dressed dancers, celebrating Pentecost.
Pentecost, as we were reminded at a dignified celebration of the Mass last night, is not about people and cultures and the talking in tongues. It is not about creating a false community for show, …. as Fr said, Community cannot be built by ourselves but comes first from communion with God.
And Pentecost is not about outlandish liturgies with watered down doctrine. To describe one of the masses I heard about, a mass where people laughed and enjoyed the “entertainment”, but where people looked blank, when asked, what was the homily about, what did you learn, what did you come away with? And said oh it was just beautiful. No mention of God, of worship.
Just beautiful to celebrate each other?? Yet to create cultural rifts where there were none – so this is my table for the Pentecost lunch, why do the Sri Lankans have more tables than us? ( You have to ask??) , Can’t we be near the Portugese not the Indonesians? And so on…
Is this how we celebrate the universality of the Church? With farcical liturgies and masses and farcical, showy community lunches afterwards – lunches more concerned about me and my culture than about mixing as a parish, as a community, a community rich in prayer and then in fellowship ?
Pentecost , as Fr said, in our solemn celebration last night, not during the circus show of an earlier celebration, Pentecost is a feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after the Resurrection of Christ,.
On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance ( Catechism of the Catholic Church, 731).
The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the Temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ’s faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may “bear much fruit.” ( CCC 237)
It is only when we are drawn into communion with God that we can then bear much fruit in the Church, in our parish, in our community.
And, oh, God, I fail here many times. I sit at Mass and find it hard to pray right now. I look at a situation, at someone sitting close to me who is angry, who won’t look at me during the sign of peace, and I know my sins, my failings. I lose my temper and am short woth someone. I bear little fruit because I fail to draw near to God.
Therefore, on this day, Our Lady Help of Christians, I ask Our Lady to pray for those I love, for the Church I love, for those in the Church, in our parishes. For priests and for religious. For my family and friends.
I (attempt) to draw close to God.
Because this need to draw close to God, to be drawn close to Him by the Holy Spirit, is why we need solemn, sacred, set apart liturgy.
We need masses that reassert the doctrines, the teachings of the Church with the celebration of the Eucharist according to rubrics. We experience the mystery of Christ in the Eucharist. We come away, full of God’s love and with Jesus with us. Our hearts, minds, souls are filled…to describe how I felt as my spirits were lifted at last night’s and this morning’s celebration of Holy Mass.
It is not about our feelings, what you like or I like in liturgy. It is about Christ and His Church.
We need the prayers of Our Lady. I need the prayers of Our Lady. Our Church, our parish, our priests and religious , our families need the prayer of Our Lady.
Sub tuum praesidium We fly to thy patronage
An ancient prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest known version of which is found on an Egyptian papyrus from the 3rd century. And I have taken it from my missal, where it is included as a closing prayer after the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Sub tuum praesidium confugimus, Sancta Dei Genetrix. Nostras deprecationes ne despicias in necessitatibus, sed a periculis cunctis libera nos semper, Virgo gloriosa et benedicta. Amen.
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.